Best ISP for gaming? (E.g. lowest ping, jitter and packet loss - not necessarily overall speed)

#1
I have Virgin Media 150 Mb/s broadband. Currently I am in a 10-day outage, with no fix in sight.

Briefly, a large area of Surrey has some sort of peer-to-peer issue and/or congestion and/or contention and/or 101 other network problems - resulting in typical pings of 300-1600ms, even to common sites in UK, Europe and overseas. This makes online games and many other applications completely unworkable. There 50+ users on one VM forum thread alone that are affected, and these are presumably the tip of the consumer iceberg that actually know about the forums. VM seems incapable of fixing the issue (their nominal online support won't even admit there is a problem, despite being presented with their own internal job numbers, etc), and the suspicion is that this is not a local cabinet issue, but a major structural problem with their network.

Hence I've decided to jump ship and look for a new ISP.

Our domestic needs are for online gaming and a bit of Youtube (wifey's Russian movies). Thus the priority is not overall download speed, but quality and consistency of signal - low ping, jitter and packet loss.

Is anyone here a pro gamer that might have an informed view on which ISP or third party (i.e. the specialist sites that offer optimised signal routing) is best for gaming, or is it the consensus that all UK ISPs are unreliable?
 
#2
Virgin are the best for speeds and reliability, I'm afraid.

I would give them a ring, and don't stop ringing until you get an answer.

You could give BT a try, but BT charged obscene amounts of money for shite speeds back in 2013 - that's when I used it last.
 
#3
I use BT, no they are not the cheapest, but I don’t mind that as I get a decent service.
 
#4
Not a pro gamer, but a pro telecom engineer.

There's no point trying to buy ISP service based on brand. Any decent sized ISP will have an asset base that varies in age. The newest gear delivers the fastest, lowest latency service, in general. The older stuff less so. Also depends on their peering arrangements. Or indeed if they are a Tier 1 peer at all - some just buy IP transit, where they pay for the data. A Tier 1 peer exchanges traffic for free, at the top level.

I would speak to your neighbors and ask what they have and what performance they get out of it. Someone on the same network 50 miles away may have a completely different user experience, based on the gear and routing for their particular area.

In my old place, I could have 1Gig Fiber service from AT&T. Having moved, I now struggle to get 6Mb DSL service. Also from AT&T. But 1/2 mile up the road, there is fiber to the cabinet service, 50Mb no problem. Also from AT&T.

Speak to your neighbors!
 
#5
I have Virgin Media 150 Mb/s broadband. Currently I am in a 10-day outage, with no fix in sight.

Briefly, a large area of Surrey has some sort of peer-to-peer issue and/or congestion and/or contention and/or 101 other network problems - resulting in typical pings of 300-1600ms, even to common sites in UK, Europe and overseas. This makes online games and many other applications completely unworkable. There 50+ users on one VM forum thread alone that are affected, and these are presumably the tip of the consumer iceberg that actually know about the forums. VM seems incapable of fixing the issue (their nominal online support won't even admit there is a problem, despite being presented with their own internal job numbers, etc), and the suspicion is that this is not a local cabinet issue, but a major structural problem with their network.

Hence I've decided to jump ship and look for a new ISP.

Our domestic needs are for online gaming and a bit of Youtube (wifey's Russian movies). Thus the priority is not overall download speed, but quality and consistency of signal - low ping, jitter and packet loss.

Is anyone here a pro gamer that might have an informed view on which ISP or third party (i.e. the specialist sites that offer optimised signal routing) is best for gaming, or is it the consensus that all UK ISPs are unreliable?
Some options here:

Best Gaming Internet Provider
 
#7
Virgin were great when I had access to them, they're only problem seemed to be their transparent proxies seemed to be a little fragile, and sometimes I could get a better connection by pointing to a different one

Maybe they've fixed it now, but it might be worth googling

For those out in the stick like me, with no access to fast broadband like that I've been perfectly happy with Plusnet, even stuck up a hill a distance from the local exchange ping is low and stable and still manage about 30-60 meg downloads
 
#9
Virgin were great when I had access to them, they're only problem seemed to be their transparent proxies seemed to be a little fragile, and sometimes I could get a better connection by pointing to a different one

Maybe they've fixed it now, but it might be worth googling

For those out in the stick like me, with no access to fast broadband like that I've been perfectly happy with Plusnet, even stuck up a hill a distance from the local exchange ping is low and stable and still manage about 30-60 meg downloads

Its now 11 days without a fix, and rumour on the street is that its possibly un-fixable, a feature of over-subscribed congestion and their inefficient parent company peer arrangements. There now seem to be other VM regions with the issue.

Still, its now made it into the ISP press: Nearly 2 Weeks of Latency Woes for Virgin Media UK Users in Surrey - ISPreview UK

Whats really exasperating for our group of Surrey complainants is that we are now relying on a VM forum moderator for news - and there is very little. If we call the usual consumer helpline, we have to speak to the Indian call centre who are apparently entirely ignorant that a fault even exists.

Right now i'm thinking of BT super fibre or something - if i can get a written SLA or something out of them that'll guarantee a clean signal.
 
#10
Well, thanks, that site was certainly a technical education. Very interesting to understand the differences in carrier systems. It also helped me understand that there is only Virgin and BT fibre in my street - all the other packages are either ADSL or middlemen for BT wholesale.
Yup with "Broadband" doesn't matter how the supplier dresses it up and sells it - it's all carried as ADSL on BT copper wire through BT Wholesale. If you get a fault it's all down to BT Wholesale to sort it (no matter who your first point of contact is).
If fibre is available (BT or Virgin) - that's the way to go for any gaming, downloading, streaming or anything other than a very basic connection.
Having used Virgin fibre for nearly 20 years I now use Plusnet fibre (which is BT FTTC) - works fine.
 
#11
4(T) - when I get problems with Virgin i contact this chap tom.mockridge@virginmedia.co.uk.
email doesn't go to him personally but the high level tech support generally respond within a day or two
and if they can't sort the issue - they'll tell you clearly what the issue is and the timescale to fix !!
 
#12
Its now 11 days without a fix, and rumour on the street is that its possibly un-fixable, a feature of over-subscribed congestion and their inefficient parent company peer arrangements. There now seem to be other VM regions with the issue.

Still, its now made it into the ISP press: Nearly 2 Weeks of Latency Woes for Virgin Media UK Users in Surrey - ISPreview UK

Whats really exasperating for our group of Surrey complainants is that we are now relying on a VM forum moderator for news - and there is very little. If we call the usual consumer helpline, we have to speak to the Indian call centre who are apparently entirely ignorant that a fault even exists.

Right now i'm thinking of BT super fibre or something - if i can get a written SLA or something out of them that'll guarantee a clean signal.
If you don't mind paying extra, someone like Andrews and Arnold would make sure you get the most reliable connection you can, they know their stuff but they don't compete with the big boys on price
 
#13
4(T) - when I get problems with Virgin i contact this chap tom.mockridge@virginmedia.co.uk.
email doesn't go to him personally but the high level tech support generally respond within a day or two
and if they can't sort the issue - they'll tell you clearly what the issue is and the timescale to fix !!

Oh, he's already had a mailshot from the peasants of Surrey! One of us did get a fob-off message from a minion that our problem had been forwarded to the tekkies, etc.

I very much doubt that email address goes anywhere near him. I expect its monitored by a temp or a bot.
 
#14
Its now 11 days without a fix, and rumour on the street is that its possibly un-fixable, a feature of over-subscribed congestion and their inefficient parent company peer arrangements. There now seem to be other VM regions with the issue.

Still, its now made it into the ISP press: Nearly 2 Weeks of Latency Woes for Virgin Media UK Users in Surrey - ISPreview UK

Whats really exasperating for our group of Surrey complainants is that we are now relying on a VM forum moderator for news - and there is very little. If we call the usual consumer helpline, we have to speak to the Indian call centre who are apparently entirely ignorant that a fault even exists.

Right now i'm thinking of BT super fibre or something - if i can get a written SLA or something out of them that'll guarantee a clean signal.
The main issue you can get with a fttc service is cable fill where you have multiple lines with the same service. The lines carry the same frequency so crosstalk can slow the potential speed that the line is capable of carrying. Most of the time the impact is minimal and with the push towards fibre to the premises it will eventually become a non issue.
 
#15
Oh, he's already had a mailshot from the peasants of Surrey! One of us did get a fob-off message from a minion that our problem had been forwarded to the tekkies, etc.

I very much doubt that email address goes anywhere near him. I expect its monitored by a temp or a bot.
4(T) - I've used the email several times - just last month from the USA I had no mobile signal - emailed yer man & sorted in 48hrs.
Was contacted by tech help in that there Lundinium with a direct phone number and a guy rang me on daughters phone & got things sorted.
 
#16
The main issue you can get with a fttc service is cable fill where you have multiple lines with the same service. The lines carry the same frequency so crosstalk can slow the potential speed that the line is capable of carrying. Most of the time the impact is minimal and with the push towards fibre to the premises it will eventually become a non issue.

Yes, looks like FTTP is the holy grail for consumers. Unfortunately not available any time soon where I am.

I'm actually surprised that ISPs don't offer a "gaming" connection (ie not a "fantastic for gaming" label that is just actually part of the mass retail connections). I'd pay a premium for a decent dedicated signal; it doesn't even have to be particularly fast, or much band width - just an optimal and reliable routing.
 

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